LGBT+ equality

Court of Appeal ruling a step forwards for Trans Rights

Posted on 17 Sep 2021

Liberty has welcomed the Court of Appeal ruling that trans children should be able to access puberty blockers.

Liberty had intervened in the case saying that enabling children to access treatment is both life-affirming and a human right.

The ruling overturns a Divisional Court judgement which, reversing long-held legal principles about child autonomy, had ruled that trans children under the age of 16 should be presumed not to be able to consent themselves to treatment with puberty blockers, and a court order should instead be obtained. The Court also recommended a court order be obtained for those aged 16 and 17.

In its intervention in the appeal, Liberty said that the ability for everyone, including children, to choose and receive healthcare is a human right which has repeatedly been upheld in international case law.

Gracie Bradley, Liberty director, said: “This ruling is a positive step forwards for trans rights in the UK and around the world. As the court has recognised, trans children should be able to choose and receive the healthcare they need on the same basis as all other children. Access to treatment is life-affirming for trans children and young people – without it the risk of serious, long-term harm dramatically increases.

“This case has implications for trans children not just in the UK, but also all over the world. Other countries had already started using the UK ruling to restrict trans rights – now they must take note of this judgment, too.

“Liberty has a long and proud history of standing up for trans rights and we will keep working with others to build a society where trans rights are recognised as human rights.”

Contact the Liberty press office on 07973 831 128 or

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